David Sainsbury was Finance Director of J. Sainsbury plc from 1973–90, Deputy Chairman from 1988–92, and Chairman from 1992–98.
He became Lord Sainsbury of Turville in October 1997 and was appointed Minister of Science and Innovation from July 1998 until November 2006.
He was appointed the Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in October 2011.
He was a member of the Dockland Joint Committee from 1978–81, a member of the Committee of Review of the Post Office (Carter Committee) from 1975–77, a Trustee of the Social Democratic Party from 1982–90, Chairman of the Governing Body of the London Business School from 1991–98, and a member of the I.P.P.R. Commission on Public Policy and British Business from 1995–97.